The Buddhist Tree Ordination Ceremony held to celebrate the establishment of Prey Tralach Community Forest, hosted by the monks from Wat Katch Phkar and Ockenden Cambodia, was a beautiful event that included local families, Provincial officials, university students concerned with the state of Cambodia’s Community Forests, national media, and an international presence with people from many countries in attendance.
The ceremony began with remarks from various parties expressing the value of this forest and the new Sustainability Education Center established here. The local monks gave the traditional Buddhist Tree Ordination ceremony, concluding with the tying of red ribbons to bless the sacred trees.
Everyone in attendance was invited to pledge themselves as “Protectors & Stewards of the Forest” by contributing their handprint on a large banner, which is now displayed in the Community Center.
Everyone enjoyed the tree planting that followed. Many young Cambodian students in attendance remarked that this was the first tree they ever planted…and hopefully not the last!
Thanks to the generous donations from our partner community in St. Louis, Missouri, we were able to share a delicious meal of local specialties including sticky rice, tropical fruits, and other treats!
We held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new Permaculture & Sustainable Forestry Training Center. We welcomed the community into the new center, which the Ockenden team adorned with a pictorial history of the development of the site up to that point, showing the attendees how many people have generously given their energy, time, and resources to developing this education center.
The event wrapped up on a high note as the local village band came to play traditional Khmer music, which of course started a raucous dance party in the training center!
The event was featured on the Cambodian national news channel in a beautiful ten minute piece that ran three times that week. This grassroots event reached out to educate and raise awareness of the emerging Community Forestry movement in our community and throughout Cambodia.
Akoun cheran (thank you so very much) to all the participants, organizers, and supporters of this wonderful event!